For seven consecutive years the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and the Paul Robeson House have partnered with the Parkside Historic Preservation Corporation to present world-class jazz performances in the tranquil, idyllic space of the garden at Lansdowne, 41st Street Parkside Avenue. A time of reflection on the remarkable life of Robeson, as well as a time to honor some of Philadelphia’s most influential community leaders, Jazz at the Lansdowne has become an important event and cultural centerpiece in West Philadelphia. The date for this year’s event is Sunday, August 29, 2010 from 4 – 7 pm (rain date Sept. 12, 2010). The musical guests will be Ralph Penn and Friends, with Penn on flute and saxophone, Adam Faulk on keyboard, Joe Truglio on drums, and Nimrod Speakes on bass. The band will be joined by guest vocalist Denise King.
Another important function of the event is the celebration of Robeson’s commitment to civil justice for all people, and the presentation of the Paul Robeson Freedom Fighter Award. This year’s recipients are community activists Sacaree Rhodes, Madeline Dunn and Albert Breland. Tickets for this cultural affair are $20, with proceeds to benefit the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (WPCA) and the restoration of the historic Paul Robeson House Museum. The rain date for the event is Sunday, September 12th. For more information and tickets please call 215-747-4675. “For the past seven years, it’s always been like a homecoming,” says WPCA Executive Director Frances Aulston. “Folks come together in the serene Lansdowne Garden to enjoy music, poetry, art and each other. It is an opportunity to celebrate the arts” and say thank you to our living legends and community activists with the Paul Robeson Freedom Fighter Award.”
Founded twenty-five years ago, WPCA’s membership is multi-cultural and multi-ethnic and reflects the social and professional diversity of the Philadelphia community. The WPCA is one of the most respected cultural/community organizations in the city. A de facto community center, the Paul Robeson House is a location which hosts a vast and diverse series of programs, serving many segments of the neighborhood with workshops, classes, literary events, concerts, exhibits, lectures and more for young people and adults.
WPCA has partnered with over 100 organizations in the Delaware Valley to present programs that have enriched the region. “From its inception in 1984, the WPCA has enriched the West Philadelphia community,” says WPCA President and CEO Frances Aulston. “Just as Robeson’s life accomplishments have inspired thousands, WPCA seeks to honor his memory and tradition through our many cultural, artistic and community activities. It is our opportunity to continue our life’s work to promote understanding of the true patriotism of this authentic African-American hero. We exist to honor, to learn and to inspire.”
The West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (WPCA) administrative offices are housed in the twin attached to the historic Paul Robeson House. WPCA is an arts education organization and museum founded in 1984, and is one of the most treasured arts institutions in Philadelphia. WPCA holds particular importance for the people of West Philadelphia. WPCA’s mission is to leverage arts, educational and cultural resources to improve the socio-economic quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia area. By establishing the Paul Robeson House as a community landmark for local, national and international visitors, WPCA restores and preserves the life, legacy and philosophy of Paul Leroy Robeson, Esq.